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  Lisa Hays, President / CEO

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All Things Green
   Think Green. Act Green.
   
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Think Green. Act Green.
It’s all over the news in one form or another:

RecyclingSustainabilityUSGBC/LEED  Certification
Conservation Climate ChangeEnvironmentally Friendly
Global WarmingState RPS LegislationRenewable/Alternative Energy

A few things are clear:
  • The issues are huge and cannot be solved without the collaboration of government, industry, utilities and consumers.
  • The Midwest lags behind other areas in a cohesive, substantial response to these issues.
  • For today at least, there are benefits to being a leader in developing and implementing responsible strategies, benefits such as tax incentives, consumer approval, increased profitability, attracting the best talent.  And it’s the right thing to do.  Today’s opportunities may very well become tomorrow’s compliance mandates.

 Now is the time to act.

Fresh Perspective can help.  We conduct secondary research to gather and then make sense of the growing mountains of published information and we interview industry experts in order to address client needs specific to current and proposed state legislation, roles of pertinent government agencies (e.g. USGBC), details of USGBC LEED certification, and utility compliance strategies all to develop responsible, profitable corporate strategies.  

 

 Do you want to be a leader?  Or are you content to follow the pack?

Reduce - Reuse - Recycle

 

Compact Fluorescent Lightbulb (CFL

On a personal basis, you can get started today making your life more Green. Here are five simple things you can do to help our environment:

Wash your laundry in cold water
Switch to compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs)
Cut your gasoline use by one-fourth
Keep your thermostat set at 68F (20C) in winter and 78F (25.5C) in summer
Give up bottled water

Greenwashing Goblin

The Six Sins of Greenwashing
from TerraChoice Environmental Marketing
TerraChoice Environmental Marketing
  1. Sin of the Hidden Trade-off
    A claim about a product that is true but used to paint a greener picture than the product as a whole deserves
  2. Sin of No Proof
    A lack of proof of a product’s claim
  3. Sin of Vagueness
    Vagueness, such as using the word “natural” when lots of nasty things, such as mercury, are natural
  4. Sin of Irrelevance
    An irrelevant claim that may be true but doesn’t make a difference
  5. Sin of Fibbing
    Flat-out lying
  6. Sin of the Lesser of Two Evils
    The “lesser of two evils,” such as organic cigarettes


    Quotes

    “Our will to take action is itself a renewable resource.” 

    Al Gore

    “Along the way, as we treat nature as a model and mentor, and not as a nuisance to be evaded or manipulated, we will certainly acquire much more reverence for

    life than we seem to be showing right now.” 

    Environmentalist Amory Lovins

    “Mother Nature does not do bailouts.” 

    Al Gore, speaking at the World Business Summit on Climate Change, May 24, 2009

    "Leadership from the business community is essential to our success in protecting human health and the environment."

    EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson

     “The amount of waste we produce -- hazardous or not -- has implications on our health, wealth, and well being. It impacts our energy, air, and water, and the production of greenhouse gases, among other things. Its mere presence signals manufacturing and marketplace inefficiencies -- processes and trading systems in which the creation of waste is an acceptable, affordable outcome.” 

    Joel Makower, Greenbiz.com  

    "The perception is that there is just a ton of these green jobs already out there.  The reality is that they are coming, but like any other industry it needs time to mature." 

    Andrew McMahan, Biofuels Program Coordinator

    at Central Carolina Community College, Associated Press, April 13, 2009

    “If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago.  If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.”

    Biologist E.O. Wilson

    "There is a sufficiency in the world for man's need but not for man's greed."

    Mohandas K. Gandhi

    "It wasn't the Exxon Valdez captain's driving that caused the Alaskan oil spill.  It was yours."

    ~Greenpeace advertisement, New York Times, 25 February 1990

    "Don't blow it - good planets are hard to find."

    Quoted in Time

    "Because we don't think about future generations, they will never forget us."

    Henrik Tikkanen

    "I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security.  Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad.  Otherwise what is there to defend?"

    ~Robert Redford, Yosemite National Park dedication, 1985

    "We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children."

    Native American Proverb

    "Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them."

    Bill Vaughn

    Oh Beautiful for smoggy skies, insecticided grain,
    For strip-mined mountain's majesty above the asphalt plain.
    America, America, man sheds his waste on thee,
    And hides the pines with billboard signs, from sea to oily sea.

    George Carlin

 

 

Statistics

    1. The “green market” is large and growing rapidly.  The “lifestyles of health and sustainability” (LOHAS) consumer market was conservatively estimated at $209 billion in the U.S. in 2005 (The Truth about Green Business)
    2. Over 99% of all fresh water on Earth is in icecaps and glaciers.  (Going Green)
    3. Annually, 1 million sea birds, 100,000 marine mammals and 50,000 fur seals are killed as a result of eating or being strangled in plastic.  (Going Green)
    4. Americans throw away 25 billion Styrofoam coffee cups annually, and 2.5 million plastic beverage bottles an hour.  (Going Green)
    5. A child born in the developed world consumes thirty to fifty times the water resources that a child in the developing world consumes.  (Green Earth Facts)
    6. It takes 9.3 gallons (about 35 litres) of water to process one can of fruit or vegetables.  (Green Earth Facts)
    7. The average American uses 650 lbs. of paper per year.  (Green Earth Facts)
    8. Recycling one ton of newspaper saves 15 trees.  (Green Earth Facts)

Tips

    1. Make your ink or toner cartridges last longer!  SPRANQ creative communications (Utrecht, The Netherlands) has developed a new font, the Ecofont, that they say uses up to 20% less ink.  Visit http://www.ecofont.eu/ecofont_en.html click on “Download” and follow the on-screen directions.
    2. When not using your computer during the day putting it in sleep mode will conserve over 90% of its electricity consumption.  (from True Green @ Work)
    3. Keep a live plant on your desk to act as an air filter, an air cooler and reduce stress – assuming you can keep it alive and looking good!  (from True Green @ Work)

     

    Myths

Heard conflicting sides about green issues? 

Here are 10 Green Myths and the straight facts on them. 

official csmonitor.com logo for reuse


The Top 10 green living myths

  1. Green myth: Recycled paper is better for the environment than virgin paper. Fact: Recycled paper can sometimes be more carbon intensive than virgin paper. It depends on where you live. If your home is in the Pacific Northwest or Maine, where much of the electricity comes from hydro power, you may be better off with virgin paper since plants that manufacture recycled paper are often near large metro areas where power is from less efficient sources. The “difference in emissions from electricity use in paper production can be larger than the emissions associated with cutting down the tree to produce paper in the first place,” notes Zeke Hausfather, executive vice president of energy science at Climate Culture.
  2. Green myth: Local food is always greener. Fact: “The method of production and type of food is far more important than the distance traveled in determining life-cycle greenhouse-gas emissions. For example, chicken from the supermarket is likely greener than local beef from the farmer’s market.” That said, there are plenty of other reasons to buy locally produced food, Mr. Hausfather admits.
  3. Green myth: Washing dishes by hand uses less water than a dishwasher. Fact: It depends. Often, people underestimate how much hot water they use when washing dishes by hand. The most environmentally friendly way: washing your dishes in cold water.
  4. Green myth: It’s better to drive to your vacation destination than to fly. Fact: Not if your car is an SUV, station wagon, minivan, or truck. That may be mitigated, though, if you have the entire family in the car, or drive a car that’s fuel-efficient.
  5. Green myth: Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) result in mercury emissions; incandescents don’t. Fact: “CFLs generally result in less mercury emissions than conventional incandescents, since coal-based electricity generation is the single largest source of anthropogenic mercury emissions and CFLs save a considerable amount of electricity,” says Hausfather. While much has been made of the mercury dangers of broken CFLs, he notes that most of the bulb’s mercury is bound to the glass.
  6. Green myth: Given a choice between paper bags and plastic bags, go with paper. Fact: From a standpoint of carbon emissions, they’re equally bad. Plastic is worst from a solid waste perspective. (But plastic is a littering problem in many places.) Most environmentally friendly of all, as you already know, is bringing your own reusable bags (which is, admittedly, easier if you aren’t buying groceries for a family of four).
  7. Green myth: An electric car is best for the environment. Fact: If you live in a state where most of your electricity is generated by coal, that’s not so. In those areas, electric cars can emit more carbon than high-efficient hybrids. Unless the electricity for the car is generated solely by renewable energy, electric vehicles are “far from zero emissions.”
  8. Green myth: If you want to help alleviate global warming, plant trees. Fact: Once again, it depends on where you live. In areas with cold winters, “the additional sunlight absorbed by the dark-colored trees just about offsets any cooling from carbon reduced.” In high-latitude regions, “planting trees can actually heat up the earth,” Hausfather says. However, in urban areas and the tropics, planting trees is good from a global-warming perspective. (Remember, this is talking only about benefits to the climate, not to trees or other ecosystem effects.)
  9. Green myth: Buy milk in paper or glass cartons if you have the choice. Fact: Because half-gallon plastic milk jugs use much less material, they have lower life-cycle greenhouse-gas emissions than glass or paper containers of the same size.
  10. Green myth: Using your garbage disposal isn’t good for the environment. Fact: It depends on a couple of local factors and also on what you would do with the garbage if you didn’t put it in the disposal. If you’re going to toss it in the trash, it’s probably better to grind it up in the disposal, although the benefits may depend on how your community captures methane emissions from wastewater treatment and landfills. If you want to do it right, compost your leftover food.
    For more data and commentary on these issues, visit The Top 10 green living myths.